New York

Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid

Ronald Feldman Gallery

Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid are really funny and really brave. They are smart as only middlemen can be. They play with notions of art and nationalism. They are comedians of an absurd situation: police-state citizens allowed to tune into news of the art world. The risk they take makes the really accomplished Gilbert & George look effete. These Russian artists, who work as one sensibility, maraud through art history inventing, parodying, and tipping over every icon, Eastern and Western, they can get their mitts on.

They improve Pop art with their blowtorch burnt offerings. Indiana has never looked so good, Post-Art no. 3 (Indiana), Circle, Square, and Triangle, 1975, actually made concrete implicit Suprematist longings. The false autobiography of one Nikolai Buchunov is a delicious prose piece, and the accompanying landscape with part of the artist’s nose visible, since he is one-eyed,

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